I could go on endlessly telling you of the benefits of this monistic attitude and of the realization of the monistic vision. But then you would all say: Wonderful, wonderful, but it is very difficult to realize. It is like a poor man who thinks about what he could do if he had millions. He draws all kinds of plans for palaces and parks, but he hasn’t even five hundred dollars; so all this planning is useless labour. You would tell me that. Therefore I should tell you some of the things you can practise.
If you agree with me that monism can be practised from the devotional as well as the philosophical point of view then I must tell you that you can put some of these things into practice now. Once in course of a lecture in Madras in 1897 Swami Vivekananda said, Be strong. Believe you are this infinitely powerful Spirit. Believe it. If you believe in this and if you are a fisherman you will be a better fisherman. If you are a lawyer you will be a better lawyer. Everything you do, you will do better.6 You have a part of this teaching in some of your modern doctrines. For example, Christian Scientists want to take the attitude that everything is perfect. They say death is not, disease is not, and they are helped by that thought. I say why not? If I have to think, why should I not think correct thoughts? Why in the name of any ism do I have to think I am a miserable sinner? The world has held such negative thoughts for ages and ages; the world has remained the same. It is time we try to think more positive thoughts.
Let us affirm within ourselves under all conditions, I am this infinite Spirit. I am still under the influence of ignorance, I am groggy, it is true, but that’s not my natural state. My natural state is strong. Even if my mind does not feel devotion for God now, what difference does it make? If God seems far off, I won’t accept that, because that is not the truth. It is just a question of time before the tide will turn and I shall think, God is the Soul of my soul. Lord, however low I may have sunk, You will not leave me, because you cannot leave me. I am a part of Your being, one with You, You are one with me forever, from eternity to eternity. Now, just consider, would not this affirmation be a tremendous stimulant to your practice of devotion? That’s the monistic spirit. Whatever the doctrine, whatever the philosophical presentation of it, that is the spirit of monism. In other words, in everything, in worldly life or intellectual life, as well as in spiritual life, the practice of monism will give you strength and courage and optimism. And there is no reason why it should not be very widely practised.
Swami Vivekananda said, whatever you do, do it like a strong man. Don’t ever be like a small man. Don’t be a sneak thief. If you want to loot, loot the treasury of the king, and if you want to hunt, hunt the rhinoceros; that’s the motto. If you want worldly things, aim high and do nobly there; don’t follow the sneaky path. If you want to be rich, be rich, exercising your intelligence in an honest way, aboveboard. He would advise that. Have infinite strength and faith in yourself! If you want to enjoy life, enjoy life like a strong man.